Vipareet Naukasana – Inverted Boat

Names

Vipareet Naukasana, Viprit Navasan, Inverted Boat Pose

How to perform Vipareet Naukasana

Lie on your belly with your feet straight and your arms straight over your head. Bring your arms to the sides of your head so that your ears are closed. Spread your fingers apart and let your tips of your thumbs touch each other.


With inhalation you now lift your hands, arms, head and chest as well as your legs up in the air. Hold your breath and balance your body on your stomach, pelvis and thighs. With exhalation you slowly move your arms and legs down and gently place them down on the floor again.

Benefits of Vipareet Naukasana

The inverted boat pose is one of the best yoga postures to reduce belly fat. It also strengthens your hips and ties which brings both, your buttocks and your legs, into a nice shape.


While strengthening the back muscles, it also positively affects your spine which comes in another position than its usual one. In this way the tissues and muscles around it remain flexible.


Through the movement in this yoga pose, the kidneys, thyroid glands and prostate gland get a soft and stimulating massage.


Through the opening of the chest, the lungs get space to expand fully and take more oxygen in. This helps you to breathe more deeply in your every day’s life, too, which is an immense help in relieving stress. People, who breathe deeply, keep their heart beat low and are less prone to stress.

When to Avoid the Inverted Boat Pose

People suffering from diarrhea, low blood pressure, insomnia or chest and heart pain should not practice Vipareet Naukasana.


Women should avoid this yoga posture during menstruation and pregnancy.
If you suffer from neck injuries, you should be very careful while practicing this pose and best of all, consult with your doctor first.

Uttanpadasana

Names

Uttanpadasana, Raised legs Pose

How to perform Uttanpadasana

Lay in Supta Samasthiti, keep your knees straight and your feet together. Check your nostrils and if you are breathing from the right nostril, lift your right leg up straight to 90 degrees. Bring it down again and then do the same your left leg.


With inhalation you then lift both legs very slowly straight up in the air, bring them up to 90 degrees and hold them up for 30 seconds up to one minute. Bring them back down to the floor even more slowly and with exhalation. Repeat this 5 to 10 times.


You can also only do this Asana with both legs at once.


Doing it with one by one first and then with both is easier and recommended for beginners.

Benefits of Uttanpadasana

When you do this yoga pose, you feel very quickly where it is working: it strengthens and tones the muscles of your legs, your abdomen, your lower back and hips, your pelvis and additionally the muscles of your perineum.


Through the muscle work in your legs you lose weight from your hips, reduce extra thigh fat and most of all lose fat at your lower abdomen. If you want to work on getting six pack abs, this is a good exercise for your lower abs.


Uttanpadasana is a pose which is recommended for women who have recently given birth and who want to bring their weight back without overdoing their exercise and exhausting themselves.


Pregnant women in the third trimester can carefully practice this exercise against back pain. If it is difficult to raise your legs with the strength of your muscles, you can also do the pose against the wall and simply relax your back


It is one of the best postures for athletes because it gives strength and balance to the body.


This yoga exercise is suggested if you have problems with indigestion and your digestive system.

Focus Points

You should keep your legs straight and bring them up and down very slowly while keeping the focus on the work of your lower abdomen.

When to Avoid Uttanpadasana

This posture should be avoided if you are suffering from high blood pressure, Hernia or had recent abdominal surgery.


It should also be avoided if you have lower back pain or had recent surgery of your back or spine, as it gives pressure to your spinal cord and lower back. In that situation I would recommend doing it only with one leg instead of both at the same time as this does not give as much pressure on lower back and spine.


This yoga pose should also not be practiced in the first months of pregnancy.
There is also always the question whether you can perform it during menstruation. In general, if you feel comfortable with it and if you are used to practicing it, you can keep on doing it. If you have belly ache or cramps however, please do not perform this pose.

Supta Vajrasana

Names

Supta Vajrasana, Fixed Firm Pose, Reclining Adamant Pose, Pelvic Posture

How to perform Supta Vajrasana

Sit on your heels in Vajrasana. Lean back and gently place your elbows on the floor behind you. Now slowly lie back while being in Vajrasana so that your knees are still bending and your upper back lies on the floor. To come out of this posture lean your body on the left side and slowly come up.


To make this position more advanced you can combine it with Matsyasana by placing the top of your head on the floor and bringing your arms in front of your chest in namaste pose or by placing them straight over your head on the floor.


For an easier version of this position you can slide your feet next to your buttocks and place your hands next to your body or under your back.

Benefits of Supta Vajrasana

Supta Vajrasana stretches and strengthens the thigh muscles, abdominal muscles, makes your knees, spine and ankles more flexible and gives your calves and thighs a nice shape.
This pose is helpful with many problems like constipation, sciatica, gout, varicose veins, diaphragm, colitis, thrombosis and rheumatism.


You should practice Supta Vajrasana when you have lower and middle back pain as it gives a beneficial stretch to your back and also your hips.


It stretches and stimulates the internal organs especially the pelvic organs like pancreas, liver and kidneys.


This pose it especially beneficial for women because the stretch and the stimulation of the pelvic region has a good effect on the ovaries and fallopian tubes which prevents und cures menstruation pain, reduces the complications of pregnancy and constipation during pregnancy and it makes it easier to give birth to the child.

Tips and Help

Beginners should always use a pillow or a blanket under their back.
Pregnant women should also use a folded blanket or pillow under their hips and back and should open their knees wide.

When to Avoid Supta Vajrasana

Avoid this yoga posture when you are suffering from torn ligaments, knee injuries or an injured meniscus.

Supta Samasthiti – Lying Attention Pose

Names

Supta Samasthiti, Lying Attention Pose

How to perform Supta Samasthiti

Lie straight on your mat in Shavasana. Your legs are about hip-wide apart from each other and your body is relaxed. Your muscles are relaxed but ready as if you would do a next step soon. You are aware of your body and the present moment while your body is still relaxed.

Benefits of Supta Samasthiti

This pose is the starting pose for many yoga poses. Almost every lying posture starts from here.
It is the pose in which you relax in between two other yoga asanas. It is beneficial for many physical and mental problems.

Shavasana – Corpse Pose

Names

Shavasana , Savasana , Corpse Pose

Unfortunately for this yoga pose a wrong pronunciation of its name has become popular in many parts of the world. Even many known yoga teachers, studios and websites call it ‘Savasana’ instead of ‘Shavasana’.


The correct Sanskrit name is ‘Shavasana’. It consists of two terms “Shav” + “Asana”. In Sanskrit “Shav” means dead body and “Asana” means posture or pose. Literally translated it thus means posture of dead body, acting and lying like a dead body.

How to perform Shavasana

As its name already says, you only need to lie as if you were a dead body to perform Shavasana. Lie on your mat, your body flat on the floor. Let your body completely lose. All your body muscles should be relaxed.


Your hands are lying next to your body with the palms facing the ceiling. Your feet are shoulder-wide apart from each other and relaxed.


Your body should lay like a dead body without any movement. Close your eyes, go inside, focus on your breath and simply relax. Relax your toes, relax your calf muscles, your thighs, your hips, your waist, your abdomen, your back, your shoulders, your arms, your hands, your neck, your face muscles, your eye balls and your tongue. Just relax your entire body and breathe normally. Visualize how you completely relax with each of your body parts.

Benefits of Shavasana

Shavasana is obviously a very good position for relaxation. It is also known as the yoga pose for final relaxation at the end of your yoga praxis. It is beneficial for all kinds of problems, physical and mental.


It is recommended to do Shavasana after yoga practice, as this is position relaxes your body and mind, distributes and spreads energy to your entire body and prepares your body for what you do after your exercise.


Apart from this Shavasana is also very good for reducing stress. It helps overcome depression, is good against, fatigue, nervousness and insomnia. It even helps you to regulate your blood pressure. Shavasana calms down your brain and improves concentration.


Shavasana is suggested against headaches, asthma, constipation and indigestion.
Overall it is a very beneficial pose to relax your body and mind which helps you in many ways in your daily life. You feel more at ease with making critical decisions and more relaxed in stressful situations. You have clearer thoughts and can think more quickly.
Practitioners of meditation like this pose if they want to do a relaxing meditation.

Focus Points

You should not sleep while performing Shavasana. Apart from the fact that you might start snoring in the middle of your yoga group, this pose is for relaxation of the body. It is a way of meditation, aware and awake.

Tips and Help

Make sure that you are not lying on the cold floor. You can also cover your body with a sheet or blanket.


If you feel tension in your back when you lie down in Shavasana, you can bend your knees and pull them tight to your chest before placing them back to the floor. You will feel that your back muscles are now more relaxed and at ease.


If you still have difficulty placing your legs just flat on the floor, you can use small pillows under your knees for support.


If you are suffering from back pain, back injuries or had back surgery, you should bend your knees and place your feet a foot away from your hips. This will support and relax your back.
This is also recommended for pregnant women. During pregnancy women can also use a pillow to raise their head and upper body if they feel like it.

Pawanmuktasana – Wind Releasing Pose

Names

Pawanmuktasana, Gas Releasing Pose, Wind Releasing Pose

How to perform Pawanmuktasana

Lie in Supta Samastithi, with your body flat on the floor. Check to see which nostril is more active, bend that knee, interlace your fingers and grab your lower leg just under your knee. With exhalation you now pull your leg towards your chest and at the same time lift your head and touch your knee with your nose.


Slowly bring your head and leg back to the floor while inhaling. Relax and then repeat the exercise with the other leg. Repeat it eight to ten times.

Benefits of Pawanmuktasana

This pose regulates the Apana and the Samana Vayu, the air in your intestines and your digestive system.


Through the pressure on these areas, the posture releases gas which is stuck in stomach and intestines. It is thus a great posture against a bloated stomach.


It stimulates digestion and thus prevents and cures constipation.

The exercise of this yoga position helps your heart to pump the blood through the body.
Your belly muscles are tightened and if you do this yoga asana regularly and with many repetitions, you will soon realize how you reduce excessive belly fat and make your belly slim.

Focus Points

Make sure your second leg remains straight on the floor. Do not bend your second knee and don’t lift your leg from the floor.

Tips and Help

This yoga exercise is most effective, if you do it slowly and with a rhythm. This is why it is best to exhale once when you come up and inhale once when you lie back down.


If you are suffering from constipation, perform this pose after drinking some water. It will help your bowel movements and additionally stimulate digestion.

Nitambpadottanasana

Names

Nitambpadottanasana, Hip and Feet Lifting Pose, Hip and Feet Jumping

How to perform Nitambpadottanasana

Lie down on your back in Samasthiti with your hands flat on the floor next to your hips. Bend your knees with exhalation and while pressing your hands to the floor, you raise your heels and pelvis up with the feet together. With inhalation you bring your pelvis and feet down again.


Repeat the exercise 20 to 50 or even up to 100 times.

Benefits of Nitambpadottanasana

This is a very good yoga pose for losing belly fat as well as for toning and strengthening the abdominal muscles and organs. Obviously this work also stimulates the digestive system.
This yoga exercise does not only work with your belly though! It works with your thighs and hip muscles as well which you will notice soon after starting your practice.


Your back muscles also need to work in Nitambpadottanasana and get tuned, too.


If you are suffering from a lack of Pitta, this is a good pose for you, because you stimulate the gall bladder with the regular movement of your upper abs.

This yoga exercise works especially with your lower abs. Those who are interested in shaping six-pack abs will like this as it is not so easy to tone and work with the lower abs where the fat is stored.

Tips and Help

Do it slowly and, if you want to increase the benefit of this exercise, try to keep your lower spine straight and roll only the upper part of your back.

Variation for your middle Abs

In order to work more with your middle abs, you can do a variation of this pose. Place your right foot in front of your left knee and then lift your left foot from the floor and do the exercise with your leg up. Place it down again and repeat it. Repeat it then from the other side and do the same amount of repetitions.

Focus Points

Do not perform this pose if you are suffering from belly ache, stomach pain or back pain. If you had spinal surgery or know that you have a vertebra or sacrum displacement, please consult your doctor before doing this exercise.
Avoid this exercise when you have diarrhea, heart burn or acidity.

Matsyasana – Fish Posture

Names

Matsyasana, Fish Pose

How to perform Matsyasana

Lie in Samasthiti on the floor. Now bend your knees and bring your legs and feet into Padmasana. Lay your legs back down to the floor while you keep your back on the floor, too.


Press your elbows, lower arms and hands to the floor and raise your torso up so that you can place the crown of your head on the floor. This enables you to see behind you.
Now bring your arms in front of your chest into the Namaste position. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds.


To come out of the pose, first place your hands and elbows on the floor and then slowly lift your head, lay your back down on the floor and in the end stretch your legs again.

This is how the traditional Matsyasana is explained in the scriptures, but there are modifications that can be done to make it easier.


If you cannot perform Padmasana, you can also keep your legs straight. Or you could perform Padmasana as much you can, for example cross your legs.

If you feel too much pressure on your head when its crown is on the floor and your hands up in front of your chest, you can also keep your hands on the floor.

Do not however place your hands under your hips. If you do, you put the complete weight and work of this exercise to your arms, which is not its purpose.

Benefits of Matsyasana

This yoga pose directly works with your complete back, from your neck down to your hips. You bring movement into your spine and shoulders which improves your posture and which can reduce back pain. You stretch your neck muscles and your back muscles in a way that you don’t do in your daily routine.


Matsyasana does not only work with your back but also with your front. Your abdominal muscles get a good stretch and you thus give room to your abdominal organs and intestines. By this movement you can even help constipation problems.


Women can do this yoga pose in order to relieve menstrual pain. Matsyasana strengthens the muscles around your reproductive organs and increases the blood flow. This helps to increase fertility of men and women.


At the same time, your respiratory system is getting stretched and you thus help your body to take in more oxygen. If you suffer from Asthma, this pose can give you relieve, as it opens the lungs and increases their capacity.


The whole area is stimulated and thus the thyroid gland and your pineal and adrenal glands are activated, too.


You open your chest when you are in this pose and blood is pumped properly through the body.


Additionally you tone and strengthen your pelvic area and flex your hips, especially when doing it in Padmasana.


Through the enhanced blood flow to the head and brain, fatigue, tiredness and the feeling of being lazy can vanish through this pose. You get new energy!

Focus Points

Focus on the bend of your back and feel the stretch.

Tips and Help

You should always respect your limits and never cross them. When you start Matsyasana, try to do it right away in the complete way or as close to it as possible. Then your body gets used to practicing the right pose from the beginning.


If you have a weak neck, you can also use a blanket under your neck.

Janu Gulfasana – Knee to Foot Pose

Names

Janu Gulfasana, Knee-to-Foot-Pose

How to perform Janu Gulfasana

Lay straight in Supta Samasthiti and open your arms to the side.

Check your nostrils and if you are breathing from your right nostril, bend your right knee and place your right foot next to your left knee.

Now lower your right knee to the left side so that it comes lying on the floor while your right foot keeps on touching your left knee.

Turn your head to the right side. Stay in this pose for a minute or two and then do it from the other side as well.

Benefits of Janu Gulfasana

This yoga position is very good against back pain. If you want to help sciatica pain and bring your spine into alignment, this yoga pose is good for you.

Hip and sacrum displacement, too, can be aided by performing Janu Gulfasana.


Additionally it is good for your knees, hips and ankles as it keeps the joints moving.

Focus Points

Your foot should remain touching your knee while your hands lie flat with the palms on the floor.

Halasana – Plow Pose

Names

Halasana, Plow Pose

How to perform Halasana

Go into Sarvangasana, the shoulder stand, and slowly bring your legs back behind your head and feet to the floor while keeping your knees straight.

Your tailbone should be the highest point of your body now. Bring your arms down so that they are lying straight on the floor.


While keeping the legs straight walk with your toes towards your head as much as you can and stay in this position.


From this pose you can also go into Karnapidasana.


For coming out of the posture please support your back with your hands and bring your legs back into the shoulder stand, into Sarvangasana.

Benefits of Halasana

Halasana is directly working with your thyroid and parathyroid gland because the bending of your complete body and your back stimulates them. The yoga pose is thus very good for our blood purification system.


The fluid released by doing this posture increases the production of white blood cells in our body which supports our immune system.


Halasana stretches the spinal column, shoulder muscles and hamstrings. This is why it is beneficial against back pain.

As a result of that, it helps against stress and fatigue as well as insomnia and head ache caused by tension in those muscles.

As it is an inverted pose, it also enhances the blood flow to the head.

This yoga pose is also beneficial for the abdominal organs and gives them a nice stimulation.


Through this it enhances and enriches the sexual power in men and women.


Woman can benefit from it because Halasana is good for fertility, and reduces the negative symptoms of the menopause.


Men get benefits from this exercise as it increases the stamina of the sperm. It is also very good for achieving a good sexual performance and preventing premature ejaculation.


The movement and stimulation of the organs detoxifies the organs. This is also a supportive exercise if you want to lose weight or if you are suffering from diabetes.

Tips and Help

To perform this posture you should be able to practice Sarvangasana first.


Please always support your back while going into the posture and while coming out of the posture. Also keep your knees straight while being in this position. If there is too much pressure on your neck, come out of this posture straight away.

While being in Halasana you can also interlace your hands behind your back with the elbows straight.

When to Avoid Halasana

Please prevent practicing this posture if you are suffering from diarrhea, neck injuries, asthma, high blood pressure or heart problems.


During pregnancy it is recommended to consult your doctor before doing this posture because in most cases Halasana should be avoided. Please let your yoga teacher know about your pregnancy, too.